Study Guide

Filling Station Admiration

By Elizabeth Bishop


Do they live in the station? (14)

This extra curiosity is the beginning of admiration for the place. Why? Well, we think it's because there's a hint that the speaker recognizes that this place is more than just a grease trap. It could very well be a home.

Why the extraneous plant?
Why the taboret?
Why, oh why, the doily? (28-30)

The speaker can hardly believe this family cares enough to keep a plan in this dump. There's something admirable in that, right? The fact that these people still strive to make a spruced up home in this not-so awesome setting is an effort worth commending.

Somebody loves us all. (41)

Seeing all of these small details—this family trying to make a home out of a greasy, oily filling station—has really left a mark on our speaker. Perhaps she admires them for what she couldn't do—see a diamond in the rough.

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